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In this paper we present a 32 channel ASIC prototype for the readout of the silicon drift detectors (SDDs) of the ALICE experiment. The ASIC integrates on the same substrate 32 transimpedance amplifiers, a 32 × 256 cell analogue memory and 16 successive approximation 10 bit A/D converters. The circuit amplifies and samples at 40 MS/s the input signal in a continuous way. When an external trigger signal validates the acquisition, the sampling is stopped and the data are digitized at lower speed (0.5 MS/s). The chip has been designed and fabricated in a commercial 0.25 μm CMOS technology. It has been extensively tested both on a bench and connected with a detector in several beam tests. In this paper both design issues and test results are presented. The radiation tolerance of the design has been increased by special layout techniques. Total dose irradiation tests are also presented.